I held the familiar white stick in my hand and watched in disbelief as two lines appeared in the result window.
By this point in my life, I had lost count of how many times I had taken a pregnancy test. There were four miscarriages before our first child and a year of infertility before we had our second. Now that I decided two children was all I could handle, I am looking at two lines.
I now know that the two-children-makes-you-too-tired-to-have-sex method is not effective birth control.
Both my husband and I had always wanted three. But after every doctor in my high risk pregnancy group felt that I shouldn't have another child, we felt it wasn't an option.
Well, every doctor except the one I saw when I was nine months pregnant with my daughter and had to sign the paper stating that I wanted to have my tubes tied.
Dr. B told me that even though my second pregnancy was very difficult, there was no real reason why I couldn't go on to have another child. My heart leaped with joy. I couldn't go through with making a decision that would make a third baby impossible.
The fact that Joe also loved the idea of three kids, plus knowing that it literally took a miracle and a fertility doctor for me to get and stay pregnant, I felt we could keep our options open a bit longer. I was 36. I could table this thought for a few more years.
Now this almost-39-year-old mom of a 2- and 5-year-old wasn't sure what I was thinking back then. Can I really do this? What if this pregnancy was as difficult as Lizzy's? Joe has a long commute and doesn't get back until late each night. I'm the primary caregiver of two little ones. And Lizzy was getting speech, occupational, and physical therapy, as well as having a special education teacher come to our house two times a week for developmental delays that seemed to be much more complicated than her doctors first thought. My plate was not only full, it was overflowing.
I always thought of myself as a responsible person. A real planner. This didn't seem responsible at all. What if I had another miscarriage? I didn't think I could handle going through that pain again.
Ironically, two weeks previously at my annual check up, I told my doctor I would like an IUD for these very reasons. She had told me to call her when my period started and we would schedule an appointment. I guess I won't be seeing her anytime soon.
I gave away a lot of my baby things. I even ordered a pink wallpaper border to turn the nursery into a big girl room. I really did have a plan.
Did this baby know I was thinking of making it harder for them to come and decided it was now or never? Thoughts of my son and daughter watching my belly grow and wondering whether they would have a brother or sister made me smile. I longed to hold a newborn again. I wanted to believe this would all work out the way I wanted it to.
My heart was beating quickly. I took my positive pregnancy test with me and opened the bathroom door, Joe was in the hallway waiting for me.
It was pure luck that my parents had taken the kids for an overnight visit. We were alone.
All I could do was laugh. Finally I said, "This test says I'm pregnant."
Joe looked at me with such love I couldn't help myself, I was thrilled. Scared, but thrilled.
My pregnancy had a few hiccups. But eight months later, we were holding a gorgeous six-pound baby boy. Fast forward to the present, and that little baby is one week shy of his twelfth birthday.
From the day I found out I was pregnant with him, Peter has taught me the joys of letting go of all my carefully laid plans and enjoying life as it unfolds. He brings humor and joy into our family, and I couldn't imagine life without him.
My youngest son helped me come up with a new favorite saying: "Life is sweeter with our Peter." It really is.
This post was originally published on Kathy's site, My Dishwasher's Possessed!